By Stanton Peele

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The accuracy of these self-reports, ironically, was upheld by the very alcoholism expert who had issued an alarm on Jewish alcoholism to the investigators. The so-called expert on Jewish alcoholism reported that in a city of about ten thousand Jews, he knew of five Jewish alcoholics. Even this microscopic number was questioned by the other experts the researchers consulted, who said they knew at most of one or two Jews with a drinking problem. 5 And although it may be true that these groups do not hold sway over their members as they did in earlier decades in America, they nonetheless demonstrate how powerful, enduring, and decisive socialization by family, religious, and cultural groups can be in insulating people throughout their lives against addiction.

It is surprising in the first place that so many (more than a quarter) of alcoholics who were ever treated or attended AA are currently drinking without abuse or dependence problems. Nonetheless, more than twice that percentage of untreated alcoholics were able to moderate their drinking. Taking all alcoholics together, according to the government’s best research, half of all Americans who have ever been alcoholics currently drink without seriously abusing alcohol! What remarkable results. More onetime alcoholics currently drink nonalcoholically than abstain.

More than anything, this book makes it clear that you are the primary agent of change. Obviously, this book is not in tune with most American addiction theory and therapy, which overwhelmingly favors the twelve-step philosophy. These treatments insist on the premise that the individual is powerless over an addiction. In reviewing the extensive research on alcohol and other addiction treatment, however, we actually find that self-efficacy therapies, which focus on the individual’s power and self-reliance, succeed the best.

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7 Tools to Beat Addiction by Stanton Peele
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